University Of Macau History 

Last Updated on December 26, 2022

Macau History and Society is the most authoritative, comprehensive, and up-to-date account of Macau from its inception as a Portuguese colony to its present-day status as a special administrative region. In this new edition, Zhidong Hao includes research on the most pressing issues facing Macau: ethnic and class stratification, the politics of education, and problems related to the gambling industry. Macau is, above all, a place where cultures interact. This book shows how such an interaction has been a source of both opportunities and tension. In addition, Hao shows how Macau has been uniquely exposed to local, regional, and global forces, the conjunction of which has demanded a constant effort from the people of Macau; they are expected to be cosmopolitan yet uniquely local. The essence of their identity thus remains a fascinating subject of research.

Macau History and Society, Second Edition

Macau, special administrative region (Pinyin: tebie xingzhengqu; Wade-Giles romanization: t’e-pieh hsing-cheng-ch’ü) of China, on the country’s southern coast. Macau is located on the southwestern corner of the Pearl (Zhu) River (Chu Chiang) estuary (at the head of which is the port of Guangzhou [Canton]) and stands opposite the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which is some 40 miles (60 km) away on the eastern side of the estuary.

Macau comprises a small narrow peninsula projecting from the mainland province of Guangdong and includes an area comprising the islands of Taipa and Coloane, which are joined by an expanse of land that was reclaimed from the sea and is known as Cotai. Extending up a hillside is the city of Macau, which occupies almost the entire peninsula. The name Macau, or Macao (Pinyin: Aomen; Wade-Giles romanization: Ao-men), is derived from the Chinese Ama-gao, or “Bay of Ama,” for Ama, the patron goddess of sailors.


The service sector dominates the economy, employing about three-fourths of the total labour force. There are few natural resources, an exception being fish in the Pearl River estuary, which are used for local needs. Agriculture is minimal; small quantities of vegetables are grown, and there is some poultry raising (chickens and eggs).

Macau is a free port, and trade is vital. The mainland is of major importance as a supplier of food and inexpensive consumer goods, and a 2004 agreement with China that eliminated tariffs on many of Macau’s goods helped increase exports to the mainland. Much of Macau’s imports consist of raw materials or semifinished goods for manufacturing purposes. Other imports include machinery and apparatuses, and imported petroleum provides most of the power for domestic electric generation. However, some two-thirds of Macau’s power requirements must be imported from Guangdong. Apparel and textile fabrics are the primary exports, and reexports constitute a small but significant proportion of the total value of exports. China is Macau’s principal trading partner; trade with the United States and Hong Kong is also significant. In 1991 Macau became a member of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, now the World Trade Organization.

Macau: imports

Government and society

Before it became a special administrative region of China in 1999, Macau followed the colonial constitution promulgated in 1976; it was administered by a governor, who in agreement with the Legislative Assembly was appointed by the Portuguese president. With the transfer of sovereignty over the territory to China, the Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region, which outlined a policy of “one country, two systems,” went into effect. For a period of 50 years, Macau will thus retain its capitalist economy and some political autonomy, but foreign policy and defense matters will remain under Chinese administration.

According to the Basic Law, the chief executive, who serves a five-year term, holds executive authority but is under the jurisdiction of the central government in Beijing. An election committee of 300 members, who serve five-year terms, selects the chief executive, who can serve up to two consecutive five-year terms. The chief executive appoints an executive council, which consists of 7 to 11 members, to assist in policy making. The legislature is a single-chamber Legislative Assembly, headed by an elected president and vice president; the assembly has 33 members, who serve four-year terms and are selected by a combination of direct popular election, indirect election by a committee of special-interest groups, and appointment by the chief executive.

Law is based on the Portuguese system. The judicial system was completely administered from Portugal until 1993, when a high court of justice was established in Macau. A new penal code was authorized in 1996 in response to a rise in crime. The Basic Law states that the judicial system remains intact with the transfer of sovereignty and that all judges are appointed by the chief executive. The highest court is the Court of Final Appeal, headed by a chief justice. There are also lower primary courts, intermediate courts, and administrative courts. Macau has a small security force, but defense is the responsibility of the central government in Beijing.

Primary and secondary education in Macau is overwhelmingly at private schools, although the great majority of these schools receive government subsidies. Five years of primary education are officially compulsory, and education is free for children from age 6 to 15. Most receive instruction in Chinese (Cantonese), while the remainder are taught in either English or Portuguese. The University of Macau, formerly the University of East Asia, opened in the early 1990s. In the early 2000s plans were made to move the university from its location on Taipa Island to a parcel of land on China’s Hengqin Island. An agreement for jurisdiction of the land to be transferred to Macau was reached in 2009 as part of a 40-year lease from China. The new campus was inaugurated in 2013, and relocation was completed in 2014. Literacy is now nearly universal in Macau; a slightly larger proportion of males than females is literate.

There are medical centres and hospitals in Macau, and traditional Chinese medicine is also practiced. The elderly receive medications free of charge. The average life expectancy is about 80 years, and the birth and infant mortality rates are both low. The government has constructed low-income housing units, and the private sector has introduced social housing with controlled prices.

Cultural life

Chinese culture predominates, overlaid by a veneer of Portuguese architecture (notably churches and cathedrals) and customs. Chinese temples and shrines coexist with restored villas from the colonial period. Barrier Gate, which links Macau Peninsula to the mainland, is a popular spot for tourists, as are such early 17th-century structures as Monte Fort and the nearby ruined facade of St. Paul’s Cathedral (destroyed 1835). The historic buildings on the peninsula collectively were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005.

As is the case in Hong Kong, Cantonese pop (“canto-pop”) is a popular form of music. Spectator sports include both dog and horse racing. The Macau Grand Prix attracts numerous international competitors and fans of motor racing. Macau’s major sports complexes include the Macau Olympic Complex and the Macau East Asian Games Dome; the latter was built for the 2005 East Asian Games, hosted by Macau. Football (soccer), track and field, volleyball, and roller hockey are popular team and individual sports. In the 1990s Macau hosted several roller hockey world championships.

The former Luís de Camões Museum, named for the Portuguese poet and writer of the epic Os Lusíadas, was in a 17th-century house that once was used by the British East India Company; its collections are now part of the Macau Museum of Art and feature Chinese pottery, paintings, and artifacts. Adjacent to the art museum is the Macau Cultural Centre, with several performance and exhibition venues. Also of note is the Macau Museum in the Monte Fort compound, which has exhibits on the history of the region.

Local radio stations in Macau (one state-run) and a state-run television station broadcast programs in Chinese (Cantonese) and Portuguese. In addition, cable and satellite television broadcasting is available, and television and radio broadcasts also come from Hong Kong. Several daily newspapers are circulated; most are published in Chinese, but a handful are in Portuguese and English. Internet use is widespread, and mobile telephone usage is ubiquitous.


The first Portuguese ship anchored in the Pearl River estuary in 1513, and further Portuguese visits followed regularly. Trade with China commenced in 1553. Four years later Portuguese paying tribute to China settled in Macau, which became the official and principal entrepôt for all international trade with China and Japan and an intermediary port for ships traveling from Lisbon to Nagasaki (at the time, Japan’s only outport for trade). China, nonetheless, still refused to recognize Portuguese sovereignty over the territory. The first governor was appointed in the 17th century, but the Portuguese remained largely under the control of the Chinese. Missionaries carried over on Portuguese ships transformed Macau into an East Asian centre of Christianity. Even though China’s trade with the outside world was gradually centralized in Guangzhou (Canton) toward the end of the 18th century, merchants were allowed into Guangzhou only during the trading season—from November to May—and the international merchant community established itself at Macau. By the mid-19th century the British colony of Hong Kong had surpassed Macau in trade, and within a few years the merchants had largely deserted the Portuguese possession, which never again was a major entrepôt.

In the 1930s and ’40s Macau, declared a neutral territory during the Sino-Japanese War and World War II, became a refuge for both Chinese and Europeans. The Chinese population in the territory continued to grow when the communist government assumed power in China in 1949. In 1951 Portugal officially made Macau an overseas province. Following a military coup in Portugal in 1974, the government allotted more administrative autonomy and economic independence to the territory. The constitution promulgated in 1976 established the Legislative Assembly, which was dominated by the minority Portuguese. Until diplomatic relations were solidified between Portugal and the communist government in China in 1979, discussions on transferring Macau to Chinese control were fruitless.

In March 1984 the Portuguese governor dissolved the assembly in response to opposition within the government to extend the right to vote to the Chinese majority. A few months later new elections, which included Chinese suffrage, finally brought a significant number of Chinese deputies into the government. In April 1987 Portugal and China reached an agreement to return Macau to Chinese rule in 1999, using the Hong Kong Joint Declaration between Britain and China as a model. They agreed to provisions under the Basic Law that would ensure the autonomy of Macau for 50 years after the start of Chinese rule. These included Macau’s right to elect local leaders, the right of its residents to travel freely, and the right to maintain its way of life, both economically and socially. Defense and foreign policy matters were to be administered by China, and those living in Macau without Portuguese passports would become Chinese citizens. Elections continued to turn out record numbers of voters and a Chinese majority legislature. On December 20, 1999, Macau became a special administrative region under Chinese sovereignty, as Hong Kong had in 1997.

The period since reunification has been peaceful and marked by increasing prosperity. Much of the region’s economic growth has come from the tremendous expansion in gambling and gaming since 2000, which transformed Macau into one of the world’s largest gambling centres (in terms of revenue). Tourism also has risen sharply from levels in the 1990s. Major infrastructure projects have included continued land reclamation throughout the region and a third bridge (opened 2005) between Macau Peninsula and Taipa Island. The political situation has been stable, with orderly legislative elections. Ho Hau Wah (Edmund Ho) was named Macau’s first chief executive at reunification in 1999; he was reelected to a second term in 2004. In 2009 Chui Sai On was elected president, succeeding Hau. By the mid-2010s his administration was facing a sharp decline in gaming revenues.

Facade of the ruined St. Paul's Cathedral, Macau.

University of Macau Programs, Courses, and Schools

University of Macau offers a range of Bachelor Degrees, Master Degrees, PhD Programs, and Diploma and Certificate Programs in a wide range of subjects such as Languages, Literature, Linguistics, History, Theology, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Communication and Media Studies, and Political Sciences.

University of Macau also offers programs in Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Developmental Studies and International Relations, Medicine, Dentistry, Psychology, Law, Legal Studies, Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Engineering, Chemistry, Statistics, and Education.

University of Macau Campuses

University of Macau has a modern campus located in the suburb of Taipa in Macau. The campus is spread over an area of 109 hectares and is designed by renowned architect, He Jingtang. The campus is located on the banks of the river and offers excellent connectivity to the rest of the city via public transportation such as buses.

University of Macau offers a range of services to students in over 60 buildings which include student halls of residence, university halls, staff quarters, student activity center, residential colleges, dining options, sports facilities, libraries, classrooms and lecture halls and sports facilities.

University of Macau Achievements

University of Macau is ranked amongst top 350 universities in the world in Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021. The university is also ranked 37th in Asia University Rankings published by Times Higher Education.

University of Macau is also ranked 42nd worldwide in Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020. The university ranks 367th in QS World University Rankings and amongst top 250 institutions worldwide to study Linguistics by QS Subject Rankings.

University of Macau USP

University of Macau is accredited by a number of prestigious professional bodies such as CPA Australia, AACSB International, ACCA, Washington Accord, and Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The university also offers generous scholarships and tuition fee assistance programs in addition to research stipends and fully funded PhD programs.

University of Macau has also partnered with a number of institutions in Australia, United Kingdom, united States, China, Japan, and France to offer study abroad programs. The university is also a member of International Association of Universities, Asia-Pacific Higher Education Research Network, and Council for European Studies.

University of Macau Notable Alumni

Cheong Weng Chon (Administrator)

Francisco D’Souza (American-Indian entrepreneur)

Jose Pereira Coutinho (Politician)

Au Kam San (Legislator)

University Of Macau History Department

University of Macau, Department of History

Full/Associate Professor in Macao History

Institution Type:  College / University
Location:  Macau
Position:  Associate Professor, Full Professor

The University of Macau (UM) is the only public comprehensive university in Macao. Leveraging this unique advantage, UM aims to establish itself as a world-class university with regional characteristics. English is its working language. In recent years, UM has seen a significant development in and a rising international recognition for its teaching, research, and community service. It has implemented a unique ‘4-in-1’ education model that integrates discipline-specific education, general education, research and internship education, and community and peer education. Combining this model with the largest residential college system in Asia, UM provides all-round education to students. In addition, it recruits outstanding scholars from around the world to create a multilingual and multicultural learning environment for students. With the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the new initiatives of the university to boost cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary programmes, UM embraces unprecedented opportunities for development, and offers bright career prospect to professionals in different areas.

The Department of History of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities invites applications for the position of Full/Associate Professor in Macao History.

The Department of History staff includes highly-renowned and innovative senior and junior scholars from Mainland China, the United States and Europe. The department offers programs leading to BA, MA, and PhD degrees, and provides fellowships for postdoctoral research. The department’s current research emphases include Chinese History, History of East-West Interactions, Maritime History, and History of Science and Arts.

Appointment is at the rank of Associate or Full Professor, depending on qualifications. Applicants should have a PhD in hand by the time of appointment, specialization on History of Macau, Maritime History, Transnational History, and the relationships between East and the West, including the history of Western missionary activities or Western trade with China. The preference may be given those who have done a substantial research on Macau and who can be considered as a leading scholar or future leader in the field. Research and teaching areas: Ancient/Modern/Contemporary European-Asian Relations, and related areas of the History of Europe, South, Southeast or East Asia, with an emphasis of Macao history that may be considered an advantage.

The selected candidate is expected to assume duty in as early as August 2022.


A taxable annual remuneration starting from MOP1,019,200 (approximately USD125,830) will be commensurate with the successful applicants’ academic qualification and relevant professional experience. The current local maximum income tax rate is 12% but is effectively around 5% – 7% after various discretionary exemptions. Apart from competitive remuneration, UM offers a wide range of benefits, such as medical insurance, provident fund, on campus accommodation/housing allowance and other subsidies. Further details on our package are available at:

Application Procedure

Applicants should visit for more details, and apply ONLINE. Review of applications will commence from end of August 2021 and continue until the position is filled. Applicants may consider their applications not successful if they are not invited for an interview within 3 months of application. 

The effective position and salary index are subject to the Personnel Statute of the University of Macau in force. The University of Macau reserves the right not to appoint a candidate. Applicants with less qualification and experience can be offered lower positions under special circumstances.

***Personal data provided by applicants will be kept confidential and used for recruitment purpose only***

** Under the equal condition of qualifications and experience, priority will be given to Macao permanent residents**

Contact:Human Resources Section, Office of AdministrationUniversity of Macau, Av. da Universidade, Taipa, Macau, ChinaWebsite:;  Email: [email protected]: +853 8822 8589;  Fax: +853 8822 2412
Primary Category:Local History
Secondary Categories:None
Posting Date:04/19/2021
Closing Date07/12/2021

University Of Macau Tuition Fees Postgraduate

Fees for local students

Application fees   MOP250
Tuition fee of Academic Year 2021/2022 
Undergraduate programme1MOP120,000 (full tuition)
Master’s degree programme2MOP72,000 (full tuition)
Doctoral degree programme2MOP87,000 (full tuition)


The tuition fees stated in the table above shall be settled in eight installments for undergraduate programmes within respective normal periods of study. A student who fails to complete his/her programme within the normal period of study and need to extend his/her period of study, is subject to a continuation fee.

The tuition fees stated in the table above shall be settled in two installments for master’s degree programmes and in three installments for doctoral degree programmes within respective normal periods of study. A student who fails to complete his/her programme within the normal period of study and need to postpone his/her graduation, is subject to a continuation fee.

 The above fees are subject to adjustment. All students should pay the prevailing fees announced by MPI.

The transportation, accommodation costs and living expenses for studies aboard shall be responsible by students.

Scholarship for international students to University of Macau, China

14. 2. 2019 –

University of Macau, China is now offering scholarships to international students who are applying for their Bachelor and Master Programmes. Application deadlines are in February for Master and April for Bachelor studies.

All international students will automatically be considered for the International Student Scholarship.  Scholarships will be awarded to those who have demonstrated excellence in their academic performances after the evaluation by UM.  

Scholarship Package

2 Years scholarship package for Master student

–          Tuition fee waiver

–          Postgraduate House fee waiver*

–          Monthly Stipend*

–          Assistantship*

4 Years scholarship package for Bachelor student

–          Tuition fee waiver

–          Residential College fee waiver*

–          Monthly Stipend*


* Conditions of receiving accommodation waiver and stipend/ assistantship, please refer to

Tuition fees for postgraduate international students at the University of Macau (UM) in the upcoming 2021/2022 academic year will be similar to what students from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong will pay, according to a dispatch of the Official Gazette.
This means that students coming in from Greater China will have to pay higher tuition fees compared to the former fee amount.
Currently, academic fees at the university is divided into three: local students; students from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong; and international students – meaning those students from outside Greater China.
In the new academic year of 2021/2022, the fees will only be divided into two, a local BIR holder and a student visa holder.
The change means that tuition fees for master degree students will not be lower for international students, but students coming in from Greater China will have to pay a higher amount.
Fees for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education and for Macau Law will remain the same at MOP39,600 and MOP58,600 for foreign students, but higher for those coming in from Greater China.
International students applying for doctorate degrees at the UM will now benefit from the alteration as they will be required to pay MOP111,760 – a similar fee amount for students from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan – and a lot lower than the usual MOP141,520.
Speaking to TDM Radio, UM’s vice rector Rui Martins said that these were “balanced and well-thought-out changes.”
The master degrees’ fee update for international students takes into account “the university’s reputation and the costs of courses, as well as the equipment and facilities, which are of an international level and comparable to universities, namely in Hong Kong – and in this case, the fees [in Macau] are even lower.”
Commenting on the lowered fees for doctorate degrees, the vice-rector remarked, “The value is significantly lower than Hong Kong because we are interested in increasing research and the number of quality PhD students.”

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